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Comics I Bought 24 December 2009

The last week of comic purchases for December because the main companies decided to have a skip week for New Year’s Eve. I was thinking of doing a comedy post for that week, where I didn’t have anything in it, but the lack of posts for several months at a time on this blog is practically the same, and it wasn’t funny the first time. A disclaimer: I also purchased Incredible Hercules #139, and I’m just finishing off reading the issues I picked up; one world: incredible.

Buffy: Willow one-shot
Although it was nice to have Joss Whedon writing again – providing humour and pop culture referencing and dialogue that sounds like the characters – and Karl Moline provides expressive art (I liked some of the facial expressions in particular), I wasn’t blown away by the story. It seemed a bit filler, a holding story between arcs, with some pseudo self-analysis for Willow instead of a genuine narrative.

Criminal: Sinners #3
A case of repeating myself: Criminal is great, Brubaker writes a great comic, Phillips draws a damn good comic (does his art seem more scratchy in this issue, or is that just me?). Brubaker creates a world that I can lose myself in, dark though it may be, but with small moments – I particularly enjoyed seeing Jacob Brown, proprietor of Undertow, standing up to the military investigator after Tracy Lawless. Great stuff.

Detective Comics #860
The Batwoman year one storyline continues, as her father discovers her burgeoning vigilante career and realises after talking to her that she is serious about it, so decides to help her by sending her on special training, fitting out her headquarters and giving her an outfit – an unusual dad. This is a story about filling in the details, and it’s made special by Williams’ art. The two different styles for the flashback and the current scenes are both good but so different, even down to the panel design. It’s truly fantastic stuff that you can look at again and again. The Question chapter at the back keeps the story ticking over but it’s more of the character stuff that Rucka does so well, and it’s the better for it.

Fantastic Four #574
I rather liked the cuteness of the story of Franklin’s birthday in this issue but the art, which I complained about before, seems even worse, with faces that look really off – Spider-man is the only character who comes off well because he’s in a mask. It put me off the story, which is a shame because there is joy in seeing the kids interacting in a believable fashion, and the return of Archie and Leech, and the end opens up a whole world of possibilities – I just hope Hickman is allowed to stick around to see them through, and we get a better artist.

Powers #2
Flashback time, as we get a glimpse of the Daring Eagles in 1944, as Walker remembers his time as Blue Streak, along with Z, Billy Mace and Goose. Oeming opens up his art style a little from his normal style – the rest of the book is darker and muddier than his normal art, a bit dirtier and rougher – and Bendis has fun with the war tale. I think that Bendis relaxes more with Powers, allowing him to have fun with the history and looking at different aspects of comics history. Still too early to tell how this latest version of Powers is shaping up, but I’m still enjoying it for now.

Usagi Yojimbo #125
Part 2 of A Town Called Hell sees Usagi working out a way to get the town back to operating normally and dealing with the two bosses. This is unusual for Sakai; he usually keeps his stories to either one-/two-parters or large storylines, so a three-parter means I’m kept on tenterhooks until next issue to see how this ends. How does he keep making this series so good?

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